There has been renewed interest in the surgical treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) over the past 20 years. In the 1940's to 1960's many PD patients underwent neurosurgical procedures to ablate specific brain targets to alleviate tremor and, to a lesser extent, akinesia and rigidity. With the introduction of levodopa in the 1960s, and the realization of its striking benefits, surgical treatment of movement disorders virtually disappeared. With time, limitations and adverse effects associated with drug treatment became all too apparent. With complications associated with long-term drug treatment, particularly levodopa-induced motor fluctuations and dyskinesias, limiting therapeutic effectiveness in many patients, surgery has been reexamined to address this unmet need. This has lead to the development and, now, widespread adoption of high-frequency deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS has been shown to be a safe and effective treament for dopaminergic motor symptoms of PD, particularly tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia, and has resulted in important reductions in motor complications of medical therapy. While DBS provides important symptomatic benefit, it does not appear to alter the natural history of PD. Other surgical strategies, including cellular transplantation and gene therapy aiming at neural repair and restoration, are currently being examined, but these have yet to be proven useful.
Keywords: Parkinsons disease, Deep brain stimulation, surgical treatment, VIM, Internal pulse generators, UPDRS, Hemiballismus, PPNa, Levodopa, Postcommissural putamen
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport